Virtual reality gaming is well under way. The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift ruling the roost as well as the cheaper and more accessible, as well as user friendly, PlayStation VR, all having their own advantages and disadvantages but delivering an equal experience of placing you inside the game. The headset allows you to see the world around you but the experience is not complete without sound and that’s where a decent set of headphones is required. For the full sense of immersion, you need some serious cups with hard-core noise cancellation measures but you also need comfort. That’s where Turtle Beach come in with their VR specific headset, the Stealth 350VR.
Surprisingly, the Stealth 350VR came in disappointingly flimsy packaging. A less-than-rigid box housed the headset in a cheap-feeling, plastic casing which made it feel cheaply made. Alongside the headset, the relevant cabling came with it plus the detachable microphone. The Stealth 350VR is a multi-format headset meaning an audio cable for PC accompanied the 3.5mm standard cable which fits nicely into the PSVR. It also comes with a USB charging cable as whether the headset is tethered to anything or not, it still requires power for its amplifiers which a flick of the switch on its left cup is all that’s required to turn the headset on.
There are no bells and whistles here. The Stealth 350VR is a bland looking device with a special shape so it can fit around VR headsets easily whilst maintaining maximum comfort. The ear cups are large enough to snugly fit your ears in its cushions which are dense enough to cancel out any noise from the outside. For VR, this is an essential feature. There is also a special cushion attached to the top of the head which increased the comfort and allows for extended play. The comfort factors are all present here, although the Stealth 350VR is a standard looking piece of kit, it’s a joy to wear and lasts a long time, approximately 30 hours, on a single charge.
The sound quality is impressive here with the full 3D directional range granted by the in-built amplifiers. Two dials on the headset toggles the overall volume and the bass and, whether you like some serious boomage or not, the quality is never compromised. The sound this thing blasts out is seriously impressive. The highest highs and the lowest lows are clear with most sounds distinctively identifiable no matter the volume. The 3D audio granted by the PSVR is a marvel with this device. Things happening behind and above are easy to pinpoint. For a cheap looking device, it’s deceptive in its execution.
Playing online, the detachable microphone is ideally flexible and easy to plug in using the port on the ear cup. My comrades could hear me clearly with little lag. It’s easy to accidentally hit the mic if you have it far away from your mouth which will send the mic flying but if your not an animated gamer, it won’t be a problem.
The VR tagline is a great selling point for the Stealth 350VR but it may put off non-VR owners. It’s a headset that may have a £60 price tag but it definitely gives the more expensive big boys a run for their money. Its ergonomic design is ideal for any VR headset, keeping maximum comfort whilst leaving enough space for those bulking headpieces. They do feel on the cheap side. Flimsy manufacturing with budget packaging takes away any premium feel that this device may have had but the in-built amplifiers that have impressive 30 hours battery life make you forget about all that.
The Stealth 350VR fulfills that audio element of any VR experience knocking out high-end, superb quality 3D sound. A highly recommended unit for any VR owner.
Developer: Turtle Beach
Manufacturer: Turtle Beach
Platforms: PS4, PC
Release Date: October 2016